Thursday, March 30, 2006

Laura Ingraham: Fair-Weather Republican? And A Telling Question from Hugh Hewitt

This post is about Laura Ingraham. So why do I have Hugh Hewitt's latest book pictured at left? Because Hugh's approach to politics is that of a conservative Republican like me. A party man who votes in every election for "the most conservative candidate who can win." He thinks strategically.

That approach stands in stark contrast to the "tantrum style" of politics that Laura Ingraham seems to embody these days. It goes like this: "I currently happen to be a Republican, but I'm a conservative first, and I will loudly and persistently attack and ridicule the GOP and its leaders in a heartbeat the second I think they are straying from what I consider to be true conservative principles."

You may be wondering what has me so aroused. It's this: I just came in from my morning workout, which included 45 minutes of listening to Laura Ingraham rant about illegal immigration. I enjoy Laura's show half the time; the rest of the time her message simply grates. My biggest problem with her show (aside from the constant ridicule of anyone who disagrees with her) is the vicious manner in which she attacks her political allies when they stray from what she considers to be the "true" conservative position on any issue.

Today Laura's "Lie of The Day" award was given to . . . President Bush.

I am not kidding. The supposed "lie" was that the president said, in a speech, that "you cannot strengthen border enforcement without a guest worker program," or words to that effect. Now, I'm not sure I agree with that statement, but is not a lie. Besides, Bush is the Republican President of the United States and the leader of the party that is the only credible vehicle for the policies Ms. Ingraham hopes to see implemented.

That was followed by a long rant about how the president and the GOP do not listen to the "majority of Americans" (meaning Americans who agree with her, which is certainly not a majority of the body politic) and that Republican party leaders basically spit on those who got them elected (or words to that effect). She came very close to urging her conservative listeners to stay home during this fall's elections.

Laura raised Harriet Miers and the Dubai Ports deal as examples of Republican betrayals of conservatives. Excuse me, but the president changed his mind on both issues. Conservatives won. Is that supposed to be an example of Bush dismissing his base? Is Laura's real concern that Bush even attempted such actions? How dare he!

Now back to Hugh Hewitt, and the most telling moment of today's Ingraham show. It came during Laura's interview of Hugh, who is plugging Painting the Map Red. The two of them had a lengthy discussion of the illegal immigration issue, on which they seem to be in full agreement. Then Laura began to rant about how the president and many Republicans are wrong on the issue, are disrespecting their base, etc.

Hugh said, "Let me ask you a question. Will we ever get the right policy if a Democrat is elected president, or the Democrats take over Congress?" (Or, yes, words to that effect.)

There followed a rare moment of Laura Ingraham speechlessness. She had no answer, and to me her greatest shortcoming as a conservative voice was exposed: She steadfastly plays to her audience and really has no answers on the complex issues of the day; in fact, she is most effective when she is against something.

Which is why, more and more, I find myself listening to music during my morning run, and occasionally even to NPR. I detest NPR's blithe liberal bias, but at least the content there is usually interesting, and unlike Laura, the folks at NPR seem to try to be responsible in the message they convey to their listeners.

Read Hugh's book. You'll get a lot more out of it than you'll get out of listening to daily tantrums on Laura Ingraham's show.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The President changed his mind on Harriet Meirs after hearing the howls of conservatives. The Ports deal was killed when Dubai backed out, not because of Bush came to his senses. So yes, if conservatives don't howl they won't be heard by the Republicans in the White House and Congress behind closed door meetings with their corporate lobbyists.

I heard the same show, and Laura wasn't urging conservatives to sit out elections. She said that is what will happen if the Republicans in office don't get their act together and start carrying out their campaign promises.

"Let me ask you a question. Will we ever get the right policy if a Democrat is elected president, or the Democrats take over Congress?"

My first thought was welfare reform under Clinton. Not perfect, but probably more successful than any domestic policy program that Bush has offered.

"That was followed by a long rant about how the president and the GOP do not listen to the "majority of Americans""

Can you cite three mainstream polls that show majority support for ILLEGAL immigration? Can you even find one that supports amnesty? 

Posted by nash

Thursday, March 30, 2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...


Good luck in the war on terror (not to mention the war in Iraq) with President Hillary Clinton or John Kerry at the helm.

I do not support amnesty. Neither does President Bush. If you are calling anything short of "sending them all home" amnesty, then you haven't thought through the issues. For example, if someone has to pay a fine, have a clean criminal record, then pay back taxes, then go to the end of the line for citizenship consideration, that's not amnesty. It's admitting a violation of the law and suffering consequences for it.

As for polls, lok at my post above. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Thursday, March 30, 2006 1:23:00 PM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

OK, Nash, no intention of putting words in your mouth. We'll see how this all shakes out.  

Posted by The Hedgehog

Thursday, March 30, 2006 6:20:00 PM  
Blogger George Berryman said...

I wish I could've heard Hugh hush Laura but... that'd mean I'd actually have to listen to Laura. Something I don't see me ever doin' again. Thankfully the Hedgehog is out there to bravely listen to her screeds. Heh! 

Posted by George Berryman

Thursday, March 30, 2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Hi All,

Laura is a bit young (hot and all, and there is not a damn thing wrong with that; but she is married and I am almost as old as Hugh Hewitt, and I can tell you there is nothing right about that but what can you do? :) ) She has sycophantic people working for her. I do not think that they watch her back particularly well. I think that the only time that I wrote her (along with almost everyone else listening :) ) was when she disclosed that she did not know the word loath (loth). She thought that old goof Byrd was mispronouncing loathe. She caught much grief from her own staff the next day about learning a new word, but where were they the day before! :)

I was on the side of Hugh and Hedgehog during the Meirs' appointment. I made it clear that I did not think that it was a good idea, but I thought that too many supposed conservatives went a bit nuts attacking other conservatives like Hugh. I ran afoul of many bloggers whom I read often and consider on my side. I am older (damn I hate this theme :) ) and have mellowed quite a bit I suppose, but I do not see any reason to attack rather viciously people on your side. I am all for a good debate, but I think that some took things too far with the opposition to the Meirs' appointment. It isn't all about winning, it is often about how you win.


Posted by Mike

Saturday, April 08, 2006 5:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugh Hewitt is not to be trusted. He was the only man next to George Bush to think Harriet Miers was a great choice. Bush does no wrong to Hewitt, but reality has interfered.

And Laura is a wack job, particularly now that over 70 journalists have been killed in Iraq. How many radio talk show hosts have died there? 

Posted by Christian

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 11:25:00 AM  

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